Lansing — The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s decision today to go into closed session raises serious concerns about transparency. Citing attorney-client privilege, the MICRC voted to go behind closed doors to discuss memoranda from their legal counsel titled Voting Rights Act and The History of Discrimination in the State of Michigan and its Influence on Voting.”
It’s unclear why a closed session was necessary for a public body that is required to make their meetings open to the public. The decision leaves us asking what was in the memo and what happened behind closed doors? The MICRC must provide answers to these questions in an open and transparent manner.
MDP Chair Lavora Barnes issued the following statement:
“Last week, hundreds of people stood up in Detroit during the MICRC’s first public hearing demanding changes to the maps to ensure fair representation for Black and Brown voters. We have yet to hear the Commission’s debrief on the public hearings. Instead of having an open and transparent discussion, the Commission retreated behind closed doors to discuss VRA. This process cannot move forward until the Commission addresses what they’ve heard from the public, what was discussed in closed session, and how they plan to fix the maps accordingly.”
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